Monday, August 4, 2014

Coming back to Providence

This morning, we dropped our bags off at the hotel lobby and walked to a restaurant to eat breakfast with Beaulu. She ate dinner with us last Friday and went to Columbia University for the Ivy League Connection several years ago. She really enjoyed her experience at Columbia when she went in the summer of her junior year, but the feeling was different when she came to Columbia after high school. It was difficult getting used to not getting enough space in general. Walking in the streets, driving in the traffic, coping with a roommate with mental problems, and other things was something that she had to deal with once she got to New York. She was so stuck on the Ivy League name that she didn’t realize what she was getting herself into. She wants us to do lots of research about our choices for college before making our decision. Although the school name will give you advantages, it really depends on the type of experience you get.

Beaulu didn’t stay in California because she felt like the people there were very racist and sexist. She came to New York, where a lot of activists protest to get their word out. The opportunities that she got at Columbia University make her who she is right now so she isn’t completely sad that she came to New York. Despite the challenges Beaulu faced in a busy city, there were privileges to being a student at Columbia University such as being able to get front row tickets to a musical.

There is a story about how the original library at Columbia University moved into a different building. The original library had too many books so they took books to another building with a slide. I thought that it was interesting how every school seems to have a story that is probably not true. For an example, there is a place at Brown University where you “get pregnant” if you step on the stone.

As Beaulu was showing us the campus, I noticed that she was actually never good at being a tour guide. I told her this and she told me that she is actually a tour guide for Columbia University. She seems so involved with the school by volunteering and speaking for her rights. Her involvement with her community makes me feel like I should take a stand for what I believe in too. The opportunities that she got at Brown make her the person that she is today.

On the train ride back to Providence Rhode Island from New York, Thao was sitting one seat behind me and she was talking to an old lady who was sitting next to her. The lady with only a few teeth left told Thao some of her life stories that lead up to right now. Thao wanted the lady to repeat what she told her to me because Thao thought that it was too much of an amazing story to be left alone. The lady said that everything we hear right now might be easily forgotten but we will suddenly remember it in the future. It may not be the full story, but enough to inspire.

As soon as we got to Rhode Island, we walked to our hotel and got ready for our fancy dinner with current and graduate students of Brown University.  Dean Almandrez and Kisa were also there with us. I actually missed both of them because they taught me so much in such a short amount of time. No one has ever been a better influence than them.  

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